Online learning is an educational process that takes place when the students and instructor are not physically in the same place. Using a computer and an internet Service Provider (ISP), a student can work on coursework where it is most convenient. Even though online classes may be more accessible to a student’s schedule, the content and workload equivalent.
In an online class, the instructor provides instruction and facilitates the learning environment. Students can review course materials online, interact with other students and the instructor via email, chat rooms, threaded discussions, and virtual classroom meetings. An online course may be more demanding than a face-to-face course and require students to have a high degree of self-discipline and motivation to be successful.
Online courses are similar in structure to classroom courses. The courses have a syllabus, weekly assignments, projects, papers and/or tests. Students will do exercises and solve problems either alone or in small groups. Students will interact with classmates and instructors through online communication tools instead of face-to-face interaction.
For online coursework, students should possess basic computer skills. Students should be able to:
- Send and receive email
- Attach, send and open documents from email or internet sites
- Participate in online chats
- Research topics using web resources and use internet library databases
- Find and access professional internet sources
- Use MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint programs